How to start a home based business on a shoestring budget

Woman-Reading-on-Laptop_Endometriosis

 

How to start a home based business on the cheap!

Do you want to start a home based business on a shoestring budget?

There are a lot of businesses you can start at home for literally no investment! Most of us already have the main components of a home based business. A home for one (just kidding), a computer/ printer, workspace, closet, corner or whatever, you see where this is going right? You are really half way there. Now to decide what kind of business you should start….

My moment of clarity came when I started selling on eBay over a decade ago…It was what some call an  “ah-ha” moment, it was the moment I got my first paypal payment for a mere $19 dollars and realized, OMG I really can make money online! I actually have been researching work at home opportunities for a long time. Even in high school when I started babysitting for a lady that sold Amway, who did really well I might add. Just taking a babysitting job when I was 15  really opened my eyes to all of the possibilities of starting a business ( and I haven’t stopped obsessing over it since), and not only starting a business, but growing a successful work at home business. If you are looking for a way to either stay home with your kids, earn a little extra for a vacation, or just be able to build up an emergency rainy day fund, look no further. I’m here to help you start a business with either no money or very little money.

Ask yourself these questions. I know right? A test?! Trust me this one will be an eye opener and will lay the foundation for a successful start….

 

First, think about your skill set. What are you good at? Are you good at sales? Marketing? Are you good with graphic or web design? These are all skills that are valuable when starting a home based business.

What kind of jobs have you had in the past? Did you work in the medical field? Maybe you could get into transcription.Or take inbound medical questions for a call center.Real estate? You could do this at home no problem What about banking? Start a financial consulting business. Try to stick with what you know.

What jobs did you like? If you liked admin. work then a home based virtual assisting business might be your cup of tea, if you liked working at a clothing store then maybe you could get into re-selling designer clothing.

Which jobs did you absolutely dread? You know the ones right? The ones where the count down is on, and you watch the clock every five minutes. Or you absolutely have no motivation to go there everyday and find yourself dragging your butt in every morning.

How much money are you willing to invest? Most of us could find a hundred or two hundred dollars to invest in a business that could make you a full time income. With any business you will eventually have to invest a little money, whether it be on business cards, hosting or shipping supplies, a new computer or software.

How much time do you have to invest?This is a biggie, the less money you have to invest, the more time you are going to have to devote to your new business. Simply because time= money. If you can’t hire anyone for a while then the bulk of the work falls on your lap.

Answering these questions should help you identify the kind of home based business you should start. Here are some ideas…

Zero investment

Ebay. I love ebay for so many reasons. Ebay not only allowed me an extra income when I needed it the most, when I was going to school full time and my husband (now ex) lost his job, it also allowed me to take a vacation to see a long lost relative, but it also gave me the mindset that I could really make a real sustainable income at home. Ebay taught me so many invaluable business skills;  packing, shipping, inventory, postage, dealing with customers and customer service issues, to printing labels and packing slips, finding merchandise to sell and pricing it right. Ebay was the perfect start for me and I think it could be a wonderful first step in learning  the ropes to running a successful home based business. I learned so much, and it was all free training and free to set up. Even if you don’t stick with ebay, set up an account and sell a few items you no longer need to get a real feel for running a business a home. One thing you need to keep in mind is you will need a space to store your ebay and shipping items so if you live in a New York City studio, this might not be the best business for you.

Etsy. If you do any kind of crafting like sewing, crocheting, painting, ceramics or even making soap, you should start a business on Etsy. Etsy is like the ebay of handmade items. It’s really easy to set up a shop. You can set one up in literally minutes. Take some awesome pics, write a great description and your off and running. Link to your PayPal account (like ebay) and you are off and running.

Blog. You can start a blog free. I think if you have a great idea and you love writing why not start a blog? A blog is like a launching pad for many different business ventures. There are so many things you can do with a blog. You can sell items for another company, do product reviews, generate income through affiliate marketing or even create your own products like ebooks and courses. Blogs are more popular than ever, when I first started blogging five years ago, no one knew what the heck a blog was, now everyone has a blog, from authors to stay at home moms. There’s always room for more bloggers. I personally read dozens and I also have other lifestyle blogs. I started my first blog mommiesfrugalfinds.blogspot.com on Google blogger, which is a free platform anyone can use to start a blog. Mine started as a coupon and money saving blog, while I still have this blog my passion is helping other mom’s become successful and self sufficient….at home. You will eventually want to invest a little money if you want to get serious about blogging though and that’s the downside. I tried to do it free and it didn’t work, when I got serious about blogging and put in a little money things started happening. I think starting on a free platform is good though because what if you don’t like it, or have no time for it. No money is lost,…on to the next adventure. You can also start in wordpress too, which is a little more complex, but if you know blogging is for you then by all means start in wordpress. If you have any questions about either if these platforms I would be happy to help (btw this blog uses a free theme right now), I only paid for domain registration for this blog which was around $12, through godaddy.com the always have specials to for .99.. Speaking of that, I paid for a .com but someone else ones it so it’s pending….for now it’s a .org.

Craigslist flipper. Yes, you can start a business using this free website. Millions use this website everyday, why not you? There are several ways you can use this website to start you business. You can buy and sell items or you can sell services. You could get free items like furniture, you can find, re-paint and flip. Put that sucker back on craigslist or drop off at a local consignment store. This is something I’ve been doing for years and its fun! You can also sell services. Are you good at graphic design? Can you write resumes, prepare taxes, are you good with QuickBooks(yuck), can you fix a computer? Or set up a website? If so sell your services.

Free freelancing websites.

Fiverr

ifreelance

Task Rabbit

Odesk

Craigslist

People per hour

guru

outsource

Problogger job board

 

$50-$100

Direct sales

 

Linen World

Selling much more than their name implies, Linen World sells linens, toys, home decor, organizational solutions, kitchen products and much more. Absolutely FREE to join. Earn 20% commission on all sales.

Avon

Rated the number one direct sales company in the world, with net sales reaching over 11 billion in 2011 alone. Avon sells old time beauty favorite like Skin So Soft and new and exciting skincare products like the ANEW product line. Only $15 to get started.

Jewelry Candles

Sells candles and soaps each with a hidden jewel inside. Startup cost is just $10 and consultants can earn 20% to 25% commission on sales.

Country Gourmet Home

Sells gourmet soup mixes, seasonings, dips and more. The advanced consultant plan is $9.95 plus the cost of your kit (ranges from $6.75 – $69.00). Consultants earn between 20% to 45% commission.

Fuller Brush Company

Sells household and industrial cleaning products, personal care items, and more. Consultants can earn 20% to 46% commission on retail sales. The basic business building kit starts at just $14.95.

Simply Fun

Sells board games, family activities, brainteasers, puzzles, and puppets for all age ranges. Startup cost is just $19 and consultants at this level earn 15% commission on sales.

Bella Branch

Sells personalized photo jewelry. Affiliates can earn 25% commission and the initial startup fee is $19.95. There is also a monthly fee of $12.95 for your website. They currently have a deal where you can earn $5 for joining and an additional $10 for each new affiliate who signs up under you.

Longaberger

Sells handcrafted baskets and other home decor items. Startup costs run between $19 for the Easy Starter Kit, or $49 for the Business Basic Kit. Active military and their spouses can sign up for free.

doTERRA

Sells essential oils, diffusers, and other wellness products. Get started for $35. Consultants earn 25% commission on all retail sales.

JR Watkins

Sells natural home care cleaning supplies, gourmet foods, personal care products, and apothecary products. Startup cost is $39.95 and consultants can earn between 25% to 39% commission on sales.

Team BeachBody

Sells the grueling P90X workout system as well as workout programs, shakes, supplements, nutritional bars, and fitness gear. With a low startup cost of $39.95 and a monthly recurring fee of $15.95 – this could be a great home-based business opportunity for the fitness enthusiast.

Latasia

Sells jewelry and undercover wear like pajamas, lingerie, and body lotions. Just $39.95 to start and consultants can earn 25% commission on retail sales.

Mia Bella

Sells gourmet candles, melts, soaps, as well as a skincare line. Startup costs are $39.95 per month and are open to both US and Canadian residents.

Gold Canyon Candles

Sells candles, scent pods, warmers, diffusers, home cleaning products, and more. Just $40 to get started with next two payments of $42.50 for a total kit price of $125. Or you can get your Business Builder Kit for free if you sell $600 in your first 45 days. Consultants earn 25% to 36% commission. Available for both US and Canadian residents.

Rodan & Fields Dermatologist

Sells revolutionary skin care products backed by science, business opportunity starts at $45.

Juices Plus

Sells juice powder concentrates from 25 different fruits, vegetables, and grains. Startup starts at $50 and consultants can make 6% to 22% commission on sales. Affiliated with the DSA and the Better Business Bureau.

Jafra

Sells innovative, quality skincare products. Business opportunity starts at $57.

South Hill Designs

Sells custom lockets and jewelry. Startup kit starts at $59 and consultants can earn up to 40% commission on sales.

Looking for more home-based business opportunities — check out the best products to sell at home.

 

 

Direct sales list courtesy of The Work At Home Woman

18 Home Businesses You Can Start For Less Than $59

I highly recommend this website as a great resource for starting a work at home business

 

There are so many home based businesses you can start for very little money. If you would like a personal skype consult to find out which business opportunity would be best for you contact me directly Sandi@ 530shasta@gmail.com

I’ve tried out and tested a lot of work at home companies, I have done extensive research on this topic and I can tell you what works for me, what doesn’t and even help you set up a blog.

Wishing you home business success!

 

How to make the most of your time when you work at home

mom with three crazy kids shoppingTime is money right? You either have enough money and very little time or you have an abundance of time, but lack money. The trick to living well is finding a balance between these two things: time and money.I really feel like working at home is that balance we as moms need. It just makes sense. If you kids get sick, you have an appointment or need to run errands, you can. When you own your own time it becomes so much more valuable and you become so much more productive.

I wanted to show you how I make things work as a stay at home and work at home mom. It’s not always easy and some days I feel like there are not enough hours in the day, ever feel that way?

I have two boys, one is in pre-school, which has weird hours. Hello, 12-4? This might be the weirdest school schedule ever, but we make it work. My other son is 2 1/2 so he is home all day. I also have my own school work to do (finishing my B.A. in Business/finance). So here’s a break down of how I make it work. This may or may not work for you, but it might help give you a general idea of how you could work around your daily life.

Typical day

Wake up at 7 (sometimes a little later depending on how my night went and how long I worked)

funny coffee cup

*****must have coffee*****

Then (assuming boys are still sleeping) I get to work. I jump online. I check both email accounts. Check on my blogs, check ebook sells. Jump on Pintrest look for some pins. Check my other social media accounts and work on some posts and writing assignments.

lady with computer

Apply for freelance work, send emails, add affiliate links to websites, work on ebook, Ebay, Etsy (a couple times so week depending on how busy my shop is), do some listings, check fiverr (I sell gigs on here and I hire exclusively on here) super cheap work done like editing or graphic design. I do all my own writing as of now. Which is getting difficult and time consuming but I won’t hire out for this unless I have to.

(two hours work)

I jump online for about 2 hours then I get ready, make breakfast around 9-10. This is when boys wake up. We eat, get showers, get ready for the day, come back down stairs and then I will jump back online for a few minutes and boys will watch cartoons. (2-4 hours work done in morning)

I then drop of my oldest son at son, then run errands, if I have packages going out I mail those, go to the grocery store ( about twice a week),go to the Dollar Tree ( I find myself there a lot for office supplies, cleaning supplies or things like paper towels, shampoo, etc. or even snacks. On Mondays I try to make it a habit to going thrifting for re-sell items (more on this later)

about 12:30 -1 make lunch, or my youngest son and I grab lunch on the run if we are in a huge hurry (I know I get the mother of the year award for that one right? Eating in the car). Ideally my younger son lays down for a nap for a couple hours when we get home. (two hours work)

I clean up the kitchen, straighten the downstairs then work on up-stairs, run a load of laundry then I get back on the computer to get more work done.I just started a youtube channel so I will do videos a few times a week. At some point I find time to edit them….eventually. Some of the videos I do are Dollar Tree and thrift hauls, I make money making videos about re-selling, home business ideas as well as parenting, lifestyle videos, beauty products hauls and reviews.

Then around 3 I start thinking about what I’m making for dinner and maybe desert. I will go ahead and prepare some of it, then do a few things like put away laundry and straighten rooms and wipe down bathroom, take out trash, etc. Then I go pick up my other son at 4. I get home, finish up dinner, we eat and during the summer we go for a walk on the trail near my house or the park. We spend some time as a family watching a movie or playing a game or work on homework a few nights a week.

After the boys go to bed,which lately has been the most challenging part of my days.I swear if I had half the energy they have I could get so much done, do kids this age ever get tired I wonder?

So about 10ish I will work 2-4 hours. Sometimes from 10-12 or even til 2 sometimes. I love this period of time because there are no distractions like the phone ringing or mom I need___. No knocks at the door or mail deliveries, just peace-and-quiet.

So that’s my typical day seven days a week. I should add that twice a week I have to work on coursework too so at night I have to put work aside and do school work about four hours a week. Which isn’t too bad….I make it work.

Looking at this is eye opening because I am putting in more time than ever. About 50-55 hours a week but I have never wanted to work so much. Working for your own cause and your own dream makes you more motivated than ever. A lot of what I’m doing now is to building passive income. Knowing later I won’t have to work as hard and my family will have a good foundation to build on makes me keep going! More on making passive income later and why it is so important to your future (and breaking free of the paycheck to paycheck cycle) in a post to come.

I make less money now and no money from this blog as of yet, but I also have less expenses than when I was working so financially it makes sense. My monthly income is around $1700- $2500 when I factor in everything like tax refund, financial aid, scholarships, grants, etc. I feel like I’m living reasonably well, my expenses are only around $1300 so it works.

Since I’m home more I spend about $200 less on gas (I now spend $50 a month on gas) and I eat lunch at home most days, so that saves about $100 a month. I don’t have to buy special clothing so that saves about $100 a month and I have coffee at home. I was spending about $5 a day on lattes. This saves another $100.

So $500 right there saved by working from home.

Could you find a way to make an extra $500 a month to be a stay at home mom?

More on this subject to come.

I might do a youtube video on this subject soon. Be sure to follow my youtube channels…mommiesfrugalfinds and mommas2monkeys

Hustling Housewife Series #2 How to make instant cash using one FREE website!

For those of you who are following my blogs. I just want to say thank you! Even if you are just reading this article, I want to say thank you. It is because of you that I get these ideas and I’m up at almost 1 a.m writing blog content. I want to share what I’ve learned, lessons learned the easy and the hard ways. I want to show people, not just moms, that you can start a business at home. You just need to know how to avoid the scams and you need to be able to find legitimate, real money making opportunities. This blog only posts real work at home opportunities. Ones that I have either tested myself, have some kind of personal experience with or have done extensive research on. I was once in your shoes, not knowing where to start, looking for ways to balance it all, and be able to have the freedom of working at home. Ok, on with the show, enough rambling….
#2 Hustling Housewife Series Making money with…drum roll please…..Craigslist
Craigslist is a wonderful resource for making money at home because there are several ways you can do this.
#1 Sell stuff you don’t want. Have an old dusty bookcase, or old vintage chair? Sell it for cash…today!
#2 Look through the FREE section of Craigslist for things people are giving away like furniture, collectibles, clothes, household items, etc. Then what you can do is turn around and re-sell the things you got free on either Craigslist or, even websites like ebay. You might have to sand and re-paint a table or clean a sofa but it is well worth your time in most cases. You can also just drop the items off at local consignment stores. One I go to in my area takes 40% but, they store and market the items, and mail the checks on the 15th after items sell. It’s well worth getting an unexpected check for a couple hundred dollars for something you got free.
#3 Offer your services. What can you do that you can turn into cash? Can you write an article, design a website, edit a video, take some wedding pics? Are you crafty? Sell your crafts on Craigslist as well. Still not sure what you can do? Just simply browse through catergories and see what others are offering. That should inspire you in some way.
So there you have it #2 CRAIGSLIST
More of this Series to come!

My Swap.com haul…Free $20 toy, Free shipping and 20% off (use my codes below)

My Swap.com haul….Amazing deals

4998c-frugal-shopping-ideas

Hey ladies, and probably a few men too. Lol I hope you all are have an amazing day. It’s a beautiful, nearly 80 degree day here in Nor Cal and here I am stuck inside catching up on some work. I’m going to get some gardening done today, but before I go catch some much needed rays (kinda pasty these days) I wanted to share this amazing deal I had to tell you about. If you don’t take up this offer please unsubscribe to my blog because we aren’t friends. Lol Just kidding. I’m a frugal shopper but I refuse to dress frumpy. I buy cute stuff,my kids and I  always dress well, we just do it on the cheap.

So this is the deal of your life I’m telling you. Watch my video to see what I got and what you can to. They are also having a clearance so be sure to check that section first.

 

You have to use these codes to get these deals…
$3 for brand new Sketchers shape ups which retail for around $70…..(update try $199)
Amazon prices!!!!!

FREE KIDS GIFT $20 Cra-Z-Art Fun Softee dough play set with your first order using this code…

GB96RRMA

FREE SHIPPING ON FIRST ORDER OF $10 OR MORE!!!!!!! No coupon code required.

20% off code PLHTRHY
good for 30 days

 

 

 

 

 

 

Frugal Finance Friday: Five Questions you should ask yourself before making any non-essential purchase!

girl looking confused on laptop

#1 Is this the lowest possible price?

Have I done my research, checked Ebay, Amazon, Half.com, and price scanners like shop savvy? A lot of times you can price match too. For example, Target will even price match online stores like Toys R Us and my go to price matching , site, go ole’ Amazon. If you are considering making a large purchase, it pays to check online. It only takes a few minutes and it could save you big! Here’s an example, when I worked for a company inside of Target I wanted a Galaxy S6 tablet but it was a little pricey, it was one sale for $199 but I still thought I could get it for less, and I was right! I did a quick search and saw that it was only $149.99 on Amazon. I went up to customer service and asked for a price match adjustment, easy, peasy! I saved $50 by just taking a few minutes to do some research.It seriously pays to do this for purchases like electronics, household items and even toys. Toys are expensive!!! With two boys ages five and 2 I buy a lot of toys. Have you seen the prices these days on some toys? Fifty dollars for a toy that will be played with a few weeks? I think not! Sorry bubs, I love you but that Batman robot is a no! My oldest son wants  Batman Robot toy so bad but I’m only going to get it if I can find it for half off or less.

#2 Can I get this free?

Have I checked Craigslist, asked  friends and family, church, facebook groups, or could I maybe even get it free through couponing? There are so many items you can get free if you just know where to look. Under the FREE section on Craigslist you can find things like, furniture, clothing, toys, wood, gardening supplies, all kinds of stuff. You can look for facebook groups in your area that have free items posted as well. If you learn the secrets of couponing you can get cosmetics, and beauty products and more. Here is a link to my best selling ebook Extreme Couponing 101: What the stores don’t want you to know.

http://www.amazon.com/Extreme-Couponing-101-What-stores-ebook/dp/B00FXNCS7W/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1456045345&sr=8-2&keywords=extreme+couponing+101+ebook

#3 Will this purchase make me money?

If its something like a computer you need for business then the answer is yes! Are you a graphic designer and need Photoshop? Then the answer is yes. Are you a re-seller who found a killer deal on close-out designer shoes or clothing? Then….yes. If you just want the latest and newest handbag or shoes, think twice about making this purchase if you are trying to save money, are on a fiscal fast or are just try to do better budgeting. I’m an avid thrift store shopper and I re-sell on ebay so when I find an item I want, I have to question, why I want the item in the first place. Asking myself these questions kind of keeps me on track and makes me not just start buying stuff I like, I’ve been known to get a little shopping tunnel vision. Is that a real thing? Hmm, Is anyone else with me? You just go into a shopping vortex that kinda sucks you in? Oh wait, I think that’s called the mall. Maybe that’s why I don’t go in there anymore. Anyone? Ok, maybe it’s just me! lol

#4 Is this purchase going to save me money?

Maybe you are going to be using a device like Roku and ditching cable, then this purchase will be saving you money. Here’s a great deal on Roku Roku 3500R Streaming Stick .

http://amzn.to/1mPW8AK

I love the Roku. I bought a nice 46 in t.v that wasn’t a smart t.v so I needed to be able to stream movies and shows because I pay for Hulu and Netflix every month. I’m actually thinking about ditching cable still but I only pay $120 for three services, cable, high speed internet and home phone. There is also a device called the Magic Jack that will eliminate the cost of your monthly phone

 #5 Is the purchase going to last?

Is it something I will be using all the time? If so it needs to be quality and therefore that needs to be factored in as well. Here is an example of this and something I know a lot about.I go through laptops like crazy, they keep getting viruses. Probably mostly my fault because I am so bad about renewing the Anti-virus program once it expires. I have considered purchasing an Apple Mac, rather than buying another cheapie laptop. I know that I will probably have this for a good five years at least so I’m considering buying one used on ebay. They are about $1000 new but if I can find one for $500 or less I think I might get it instead of buying another $300 laptop that I will only get a year of use out of. If you think about it $300 x5 is $1500. And that’s about the average I’m spending on computers. If I buy the Mac it will save me $1000. I found one on ebay for used for $300 so I think this is for sure the route I’m going. Normally electronics are one thing I only buy new but since Mac’s are so reliable and well made I think I’m going to chance it this time.

 

Do you have questions you ask yourself before making a purchase? What do you do to control your spending if you are on a budget? And frankly, who isn’t these days? If you aren’t, you probably should be. Even people with millions tend to over-spend. Look at poor Kanye West these days! Sorry that’s the best example I had at the moment. I’m following the Principles Dave Ramsey teaches about finance, I like to call it, think like your grandma, so that’s what has prompted a lot of my finance driven posts.

Here are some great books of his about finance that are all best sellers.

http://amzn.to/1L0vSPF http://amzn.to/1L0vWPk

All of those money lessons that my mom taught me growing up I thought were crazy, the older I get, the more sense it makes. She lives on a no-credit system. She has great credit, just never uses it, she pays cash for everything, if she needs a couch she buys it used or at a yard sale. She says, if I can’t pay cash I don’t need it. Shifting my mind-set into this mode has helped me considerably. I always have money in my bank account and my bills going out every month are minimal now, believe me, that wasn’t always the case. My total monthly bills are about $1000, that doesn’t include food. I spend around $500 on food right now, but working on a plan to reduce that. I’ve been getting lazy with meal planning and haven’t been couponing as much after I had my second son. I’m going to be putting more effort into this area in the months to come after I get some important projects out of the way. 

More posts like this to come as well as youtube videos. See my new channel Mommies Frugal Finds, and my old channel mommas2monkeys

Don’t start a blog…until you read this!

Blogging1.jpg

 

 

 

I started this silly little thing called a blog when my first son was born, as a hobby. My son is now five and I have since decided to take it from “this silly little blog” to ” my silly little business” ok, maybe just business.;)

When I started blogging hardly anyone knew what the heck a blog was, now everyone and their grandma has a blog. So here’s a few lessons I learned along the way.

I think this info would be of use to a blogger just starting out, or someone considering starting one.

#1 It’s not all rainbows and sunshine….it takes so much work and dedication. Full time bloggers work all day, everyday. More than forty hours a week in a lot of cases. When I decided to take this to a full time business in October I also started putting about 50 hours a week into it. The thing is I didn’t even realize it until I added it all up because I love it so much, to me it’s not really work. I personally work til 2am sometimes. I do my best work late at night when my kids are in bed, it works for me, I say whatever times work for you, go for it. If you aren’t a 9-5 kinda person, that’s ok in this business. I work better at night and as a freelance worker that’s ok.

#2 You have to have a good support system and an understanding family. Because it takes so much time you need to manage you time well. Thanks to my supportive finance and super dad Jeff. I couldn’t do it with out his help and support. He takes the kids to the park or to grab a bite on days I have assignment deadlines. You will need childcare sometimes so you can work interrupted (don’t try to be supermom), something I needed to learn a long time ago (after cleaning up a room full of nail polish),as well as posting some pretty crazy posts. You have to be able to focus and working when hearing mom I need ____, is just going to leave you frazzled and of course with a crazy, messed up post. Bloggers who glamorize working at home with kids aren’t being real about it, it’s a challenge and a juggling act everyday, but it can be done.

#3 You can’t do it all yourself, even the most technical writers/bloggers need some help. There is so much work to be done. From designing your blog, to coding to affiliate links and other links like products you sell and social media marketing. You will eventually have to hire help, even if it’s for a small task here and there. Trying to take on the world by yourself is just going to leave you burned out. Believe me I’ve been there.

#4 It takes money, starting out as a money saving lifestyle blogger, I tried to start this business free. You just can’t *period*. Some folks may beg to differ, but as someone who found out the hard way, trust me on this one. If you want to take it from hobby to business you have to invest some money. It really does take money to make money. You can start out free to get the feel for things, but to step it up to business, it’s going to take a little moolah. Of course you can start for less than $100 to start, which is nothing though compared to what some full time bloggers make. Upwards of $10,000 or more a month.

Some things you will need.

You need to buy a domain…which you can buy really cheap though godaddy

You will need hosting. I have hosting for this blog and my other blog mommiesfrugalfinds.com through godaddy. It’s a work in progress, and will be switching to Bluehost soon, most successful bloggers have Bluehost. I will be eventually transferring all of my blogspot content to wordpress too. If you start on wordpress you should buy a designer template for better SEO, which basically means more visibilty. For this blog godaddy seems to be working out pretty well though, so I may not transfer to bluehost because the price is very reasonable. You can start a blog free through blogger, and you won’t need a domain or a host, this is a great way to get a feel for blogging and you can always step things up down the road by getting a domain and hosting, I do recommend at least buying the domain though because it may be unavailable for purchase when you decide to take it from blog to business, which will change everything. You might not be able to get a (dot) com.

#5 Blogging can be discouraging. It’s hard to put your heart and soul into this business (I’ve been blogging five years), only to read stories like one blogger makes $10,000 a month after only one year of blogging as a single mom making $700 a month. There’s no way, I’m sure someone helped in one way or another. She makes the bulk of her income from this story selling books about her life story and how her husband left her, and she went from homeless to making well over $10,000 a month. Knowing what I know about this business. There has to be so much more to this story. Like maybe her ex was a doctor and she ended up getting alimony or something,  all kidding a side, it just seems pretty unrealistic, but I guess there are exceptions. One can assume or speculate, it just blows my mind when I hear stories like this because of what I’ve put into this business. Or the story about a crock-pot blogger who started a blog and within weeks ended up on the Rachel Ray show, not knowing anything about crockpot cooking she winged it and quickly became an overnight success. In the world of blogging you hear stories like these all the time. It has made me want to quit so many times. Why do I keep going? Because I love blogging and writing and I love helping other moms, if I did it for the money I would have stopped a long time ago and went into investment banking or something. I’m not in it to make money, though it would be nice to make $10,000 a month, I’m not gonna lie. You just have to start with that mindset that it is not going to be a reliable source of income at first. You can however make other streams of income in the process. More posts on this to come.

#6 Make sure your heart is in it.It takes time to make decent money blogging. If you are starting a blog for income alone. Don’t start a blog at all, go into another field.Or keep following this blog for more on ways to generate more income streams and use your blog as a launching pad for other business opportunities.

#7 People are not going to understand this business…I can’t even count how many times I’ve heard “what’s a blog”? Most people have no idea this is a big business, as well as a platform for other endeavors. You might have to just not tell anyone about it and work on it secretly. There is so much negativity surrounding anything where you make an income online or anything unconventional. If you tell anyone what you do you will usually get a confused or glazed over look. Just smile and move on. Don’t let others opinions or misconceptions bring you down. Just keep doing what you love.

#8 The competition is fierce and it’s not pretty. Other bloggers will steal ideas, steal tags or titles and then every blogger in that niche has the same posts. That can be super frustrating. But I just keep going and make sure I follow all competition to ensure I’m posting unique articles and that my posts are totally different and attention grabbing.

#9 In order to draw readers in you have to grab attention… you have to have a great title for posts and a reason to get someone to read it….just keep your integrity. Many bloggers sell their soul for readers. Just be yourself and be real, that will eventually shine through, making your voice unique and authentic. I would rather have my integrity and no readers than a million readers because of a title that was less than honest or using someone else’s idea.

#10 You will face criticism and critique and you have to be ok with this. You develop a tough skin from this business. You have to not care what others think and just be true to yourself.Blogging enables you to speak your mind, just remember to be respectful of others and realize that things can be taken out of context. There will always be someone who doesn’t like what you have to say, not value your opinions or are just simply mean spirited and bored. Even these people are valuable to this business because the truth of the matter is this, if they are reading your content, you are still getting views and that ultimately leads to a higher Alexa ratings, so really even haters are helping. That’s the way I look at it.

#11 Never stop learning and growing everyday. I learn something new everyday. Study, read, explore, learn and ask questions. I read a lot and if there is something I need to learn (like video editing for example), I watch youtube videos or turn to my BFF google. There is always room for growth and improvement. Always strive to make your blog, and your business better.And always stay humble.

#12 Most bloggers don’t make the bulk of there imcome from blogging alone. Revenue is made from multiple sources by selling ad space, affiliate links, affiliate programs,YouTube channels, marketing programs and products like, ebooks, courses, fitness programs, printables, digital downloads, etc. A lot of bloggers also write for other websites, do public speaking do virtual assisting or speaking gigs. Blogging is really launching pad for other opportunities and income streams. I’m going to be doing some more posts about this subject..the truth about blogging in the months to come.

 

Happy blogging! Keep your head up girl!

 

Here’s a link to an ebook that I highly recommend if you want to start a profitable blog. The author is a blogger I’ve been following for years. She started out as an Extreme Couponing and frugal living blogger like I did, she now teaches a very popular blogging academy called. Elite blogging academy. She shows you ways to make money in multiple forms from your blog. This book is also for the most untechnical newbies out there. Very cut and dry, straightforward advice.

 

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Frugal fashion: How to save hundreds per year!

 frugal fashion pic

 Don’t impulse buy If you see something you love in a store and can’t seem to live without it, but maybe the price tag just doesn’t sit well, do this. Take a pic of the item and brand. When you go home do some comparison shopping. Once you get home you might even forget about it and that will save you a whopping 100% buby not even buying it. Shop online if you would be willing to buy it used to save up to 80% off! I know I would. I like to compare prices. You can even use a price comparison app like shopsavvy to see if the item is cheaper online or you can even check out Amazon or websites like swap.com and threadup.com. So that $100 jacket from Macy’s could be $40 online…that’s a pretty big savings. Bonus: Look for for coupon codes at websites like retailmenot.com for percent off and free shipping codes. Also, re-set your browser to a website like swagbucks to make money back on items you purchase online. You can get free gift cards for Target, Starbucks and more!
Shop with a plan You make a list when you grocery shop. Why not shop with a plan when you shop for clothes? Go through your clothing and inventory what you have and what you need. Piece together outfits in your closet to see what you are lacking and what you have in excess. This will help you see what you really need. Then make a list to keep in your purse and check things off the list as you go.This will save you big and will allow you to buy only what you need.
Shop at consignment stores Consignment stores area a great way to find very gently used items for up to 80% off or more. Most of these stores only take the best items that are in style and in good used condition, clean, free of stains, rips and tears.
Yard Sales Don’t over look yard sales for clothing. You might be looking for something else like a bookshelf or lamp, but think outside of the box and look for clothing. $1 shirts and purses? Yes please! I’ve found all kinds of name brand items for pennies on the dollar. Tips: Shop early, the early bird get’s the worm right? This applies to yard sales too, beat the crowd and get first pick. Map your route to hit the most yard sales without wasting gas driving in circles. Negotiate, why not ask for a discount? Sometimes I will come across a box of boys clothing and instead of rooting through a huge box I might make an offer for the whole box. I might offer $20 or so depending on the brands, etc. I get it home, sort through it, take what my kids will use and sell or donate the rest.Also shop the last day of the sale, usually Sunday. By then people are more willing to negotiate, or want to unload free items just to get rid of the yard sale leftovers.
Learn how to sew. Sewing is not just for grandmas. I love to sew and I can honestly say this skill is invaluable. If you have a zipper that breaks you don’t have to throw out your favorite skirt or if you need to replace a button, no biggie. You can find that great designer piece that no one wants, that was once loved but maybe has a rip in the seam, why not repair and wear? You can also make clothing for your kids, make costumes, sew home decor items like curtains or make pillows. You can even make a business out of it by making custom items or doing alterations.
Ebay Ebay is an often overlooked place to buy clothes these days with so many online options I think a lot of us don’t think to use ebay anymore. I recently bought a pair of American Eagle jeans on here for $4.99. I’ve seen some amazing deals on clothing, if you aren’t squeamish about buying used it’s a great way to get designer clothing for at least 50% off or more.
Ross I love Ross! Ross is my go-to spot for last minute event dresses. I have been able to find super cute name brand dresses for as low as $8.99. I’ve seen tanks and summery tops for as low as $2.99. Be sure to have some time on your hands because you will need to sort though a lot of items to find the goldmine. Be sure to shop early for best selection. When swimsuits first come out now get them! By your summer stuff now for the best selection. When it’s 100 degrees outside you won’t be able to find shorts or swimwear and will probably end up over paying at another store, just to find what you need. Plan ahead!  Always check out the clearance sections of the store too. You can find some amazing deals for very little cash.
Craigslist Ever think to shop Craigslist for clothes? Craigslist is a good resource for all things used. I’ve seen bags of clothing sold as a lot of here for as low as $20-$30 or even kids clothing and shoes. It’s a great place to unload your unwanted clothing items too. Just group sizes together to get the most bang for your buck. I don’t know about you but I can’t spend time taking a bunch of individual pics. Sell as a lot! Takes far less time and I would rather get $30-$40 for my effort, than deal with phone calls and emails for $5 items. I don’t have time for that. I just fold the clothing up nicely, take a few pics from different angles and list. No fees and a time saver!
Thrift Stores I love thrift stores! Every time I go I feel like a kid on a treasure hunt. It’s so amazing what you can find, for basically pennies on the dollar. Here’s a tip: Never judge a book by it’s cover There’s a thrift store in my area that I would often drive by but never stopped in because from the looks of the outside, I didn’t think it was my kind of store. It looks old, cluttered and nothing outside looks appealing. Well, one day recently I decided to go in and I was blown away by the things I found! How about nice designer shirts for .50. Some of the shirts were a size up but I’m going to alter those (see where sewing skills come in handy?). I also found a brand new bed set with all the pillows for $30. I was able to negotiate and get it for $20, it’s doesn’t hurt to ask right? All they can say is no! I also found a set of old fashioned malt mugs for .50 each and some Toms glittery shoes for $1. That retail for $40. See my hauls on youtube. I have two channels mommas2monkeys and mommiesfrugalfinds. I do Dollar Tree and thrift hauls as well as money saving and money making tips and more.
Dollar Stores What?! I thought this was about saving on clothing you might be saying to yourself! It is. Here are some clothing items you can find at dollar stores. Socks, Slippers, Flip flops, Plain basic t-shirts (perfect for projects too) Nylons, Tights, Scarves, Bra and panties (some dollar stores like .99 stores) Leggings, gloves, hats, etc. Think outside the box. Stores like the .99 store even have jewelry.
Buy off season Buy when the price is right and the demand is low. I just bought my boys Teva’s for summer for $9.99 and $7.99 on ebay. This retails for around $50. I bought a size up for both. I’m just going to put them away for warmer days ahead. They will get a ton of use out of these this summer I’m sure. These are so versatile. I have one pair I’ve had for about 10 years and they still look new. And another that are more rugged for camping and hiking. If you buy quality items.you can get a lot of use out of your clothing and shoes.
There are so many ways to save on fashion. I recently discovered swap.com as well. I spent $45 and got two pairs of jeans four shirts and a pair of shoes, plus found a free shipping code for new customers. Not a bad deal in my opinion.
I also love to alter clothing, check out my test shops
Earthangelclothing.etsy.com
And
Endlesssummerfashion.etsy.com
For some inspiration. I also have another blog on just unicycle projects
Earthangelclothing.etsy.com
More fashion ideas to come.
I hope this helped give you some ideas of ways you can save hundreds on clothing every year! More articles like this to come as well as thrift, yard sale and ebay haul videos.